Oldport Marine / Seamen's Institute

Old Sep 14th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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Oldport Marine / Seamen's Institute

We will be in Portland on October 11 - (9 to 3) visiting from a cruise ship. We'd like to leave the cruise behind for a day and go to the area where we can hook up with the Oldport Marine Service. Maybe a trip on the Amazing Grace or catch a picnic at the Aloha Cafe and go to Ft Adams St Park for a picnic.
We want to spend the day around this area and maybe take a taxi over to the Point district to enjoy the old houses and their colors.

So, how do we get there from our ship? Is it walking distance, or can we get a taxi or bus from there?

Also, in that area, where is a good place to sit a while and eat, drink and dream?
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Old Sep 14th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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What...??? You can't walk from Portland, ME to Newport Rhode Island very easily...is your ship stopping in Newport?

If so, you will be tendered into town and be let off in the middle of things at Perotti Park. You could walk to the Point from there. I'd walk across the street first to the Visitors Center and get a map and other info.

Not sure that Aloha Cafe offers picnics, but there are lots of good restaurants and sandwich places where you could grab something and find a place to sit and relax. Rent a scooter and head out to Brenton Point out on Ocean Drive for a picnic, or over to Fort Adams, and go to the other side and enjoy the views from next to the Eisenhower House.

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Old Sep 14th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Oops, yes, I had just caught that too! This post *was* about Newport. (blush)

BUT! We *will* be in Portland on Friday October 12 from 7:00 AM until sailing at 6:00 PM.
So what's a good plan for Portland? Besides Mainely's Tour and Gritty McDuff's for a brew!
We've never been to Portland and are looking forward to Maine in the autumn.

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Old Sep 14th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Your question states Portland but these places are in Newport.For the most info take a look at gonewport.com.
There are a wide variety of choices if you want to take a sail or a harbor tour. Amazing Grace is a motor vessel that does short tours. There are also sveral sailing vessels - Adirondack, Madelyn, and I can't remember the name of the others. Newport is about sailing and these sailing vessels are fun. Without a car, you are a little stuck. My experience with taxis in Newport is terrible and I would not count on them at all. There are very few and they are not reliable. Your ship will most likely drop anchor in the outer harbor and you will reach the Thames Street area by their dinghy. There are lots of good restaurants nearby for lunch - Black Pearl, 22 Bowen come to mind - you can walk the Thames Street area easily. The Point district is nearby the visitor center but I honestly don't see the attraction for this..There are shuttles that bring visitors all over Newport and I am sure that the shuttle will be running on a cruise ship day.
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Old Sep 14th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Re: Portland, Maine. Going to Gritty's will get you into the Old Port - shops, restaurants, etc. A little further up the hill in the 'downtown' area you could visit the Portland Museum of Art (just a 10 min walk) famous for its addition designed by I.M. Pei and its collection of Wyeth's and other American painters. If you walk the other direction on Congress Street there's the Portland Observatory. I'm not familiar with Mainley's Tour, but I'm sure they will point out all these places. The cruise line will also probably offer trips to Freeport/LLBean (20 min drive north) or to Kennebunkport (45 min south). Write back if you want more specifics.
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Old Sep 14th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Thanks for the update about Newport.

Regarding Portland!

Thanks Cindy,
Mainely's Tours appears to be 90 minutes on a trolley and I'm sure they will point out some places.

I love the idea of going to the art museum and would love to see the exhibit.

I spent some time in Kittery last October and can give all the outlet stores a miss! But we love Maine and always on a quest for the perfect lobster roll, but I think it's not quite in season in October.

Any recs for a nice lunch with a view and friendly locals? Trying to avoid the masses of cruiseship exiles for a day.
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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 04:27 AM
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Unfortunately, you'll just miss the Wright exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art, but google it for the schedule, etc. If you're interested, there's a Ansel Adams exhibit at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. The tour might have a bus going there, just south of K'port. A beautiful town with a beautiful sandy beach, shops, art, etc. Lots of choices for lunch.

If you don't venture that far from Portland, maybe you could get to Cape Elizabeth for lunch at the Lobster Shack. A beautiful location on a rocky bluff with good food - lobster rolls are in season year-round! If you stay in Portland, try the DryDock for a lobster roll. There are plenty of other places, too, but as I recall that is pretty good. But you will probably be with many cruise customers. To get away from them go out to Cape Elizabeth.
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have cut and pasted everything. Can't wait for the lobster roll and hopefully some blueberry pie too.
We'll be there in about 2 weeks. How does the foliage look? We were around Boston/Kittery last year and the leaves were great. But I'm thinking they may peak early this year because the weather is so screwed up all over.
Thanks again.
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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If I remember right I think you can buy a combo trolley/museum pass in Portland and hop on and off. We got a trolley/boat tour combo. The boat tour did go to the lighthouse. I wish we would have had time to explore more of the downtown. We went into some fun book shops and boutiques by the harbour.
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 11:17 PM
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FWIW, I haven't had any bad experiences with taxis in Newport - but you do usually have to call for them instead of just hailing them on the street. The concierge at the Marriott, for one, was happy to call one for us when we walked in off the street.

This past August, we really enjoyed the Clarke Cooke House on Bannister Wharf for dinner and drinks. It's got a couple of different restaurants and bars inside, and overall that classic NE feel to the space and clientele.
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